Friday, March 21, 2008

Why Vandy Lost to Siena...

While most of us here at Sports VU said we would be shocked if Siena beat Vandy, I think all of us were shocked on how bad Vanderbilt played on Friday night. In keeping with the Tampa tradition Friday, Siena joined Western Kentucky and San Diego upsetting the higher seed. With that said, Siena won the game because they did exactly what they needed, force turnovers, and make shots. As well as Siena played, Vanderbilt certainly helped. Here are my reasons that Vandy lost this one:

1) No Defense- the Commodores have struggled to contain teams with good guards who can create off the dribble and today was no different. Fisher killed Vandy making 6-6 of his three point attempts, and Hansbrouck drove by whomever was guarding him all night ending the game with 30 points. I give props to Jamie Graham though. He played his heart out tonight and was our best perimeter defender tonight and the last few games.

2) Shan didn't show up and there was no third scorer - through most of this season, the Commodores have gone as far as Shan Foster was willing to take them and today Shan just didn't show up for some reason. He struggled all night and a lot of that has to be credited to Siena's defense. I know Shan was not satisfied by his performance, but he needs to remember that without him this team may not even be in the NCAA tourney. Also, as all of Commodore nation has known of late, Ogilvy and Foster can't do it all themselves. Vandy needs another guy to step up on the offensive end especially when Shan is struggling and tonight no one did.

3) Ogilvy wasn't utilized enough- With a huge size advantage with A.J. down low, Stallings and the guys needed to find ways to get A.J. the ball, and they didn't do it enough. A.J. is also to blame slightly as he did not play strong down low and looked to get fouled more than score. Sure A.J. had 18 but I think he could have had 30 if he would have played stronger and got some better looks. One must remember that he is just a freshman after all, and hopefully he will learn from this.

4) Vandy didn't shoot well- on a team with no real slashing presence, the Commodores must shoot the ball well to win games since their defense leaves something to be desired. Friday night the Commodores lacked the shooting touch shooting just 19% from three point range on 21 attempts and shooting 40% overall compared to Siena's 54% overall. If I could request one thing for next season, it would be for Vandy to recruit a guy who can create his own shot. We have shooters, we have a big, we need a guy who can carry us by getting to the basket when the bigs and shooters aren't on.

While this loss is very disappointing for all of Commodore nation, I would just like to salute the seniors for bringing this program to where it is today. They are the ones responsible for the success of the program and will be missed. As for the younger guys, it is time to step up. At times it looked like they were scared to take shots this year and with the loss of Shan, someone will have to step up and give A.J. some support.

With all this negativity, there is a light at the end of the tunnel in the form of the above mentioned younger guys. Everyone assumes that A.J. Ogilvy will come back next year instead of declare for the draft and will probably be even better after experiencing a year of college basketball. The Commodores will bring in two outstanding recruits next year in Steve Tchiengang and Lance Goulbourne who should be able to step in and help right away, and the Commodores are still recruiting Brad Tinsley a point guard from Oregon, who has offers from schools such as Arizona and Kentucky, and Jeff Taylor a shooting guard/small forward, who has offers from Arizona and Texas. Here is some video of Tinsley:

Also, the Dores will have Festus Ezeli, an athletic center who red-shirted this year and had offers from UCLA and Ohio State last year, and Charles Hinkle, another red-shirt freshmen who is a deadly shooter. Hopefully, the coaching staff will be able to get Tinsley and Taylor to add to this great young core and provide a great young team for the future for us all to watch.

Thanks to the seniors once again, and I look forward to the bright future of Commodore basketball with a team next year that may not have a go-to-guy like Foster, but may be better overall and deeper.

Feel free to leave your comments about my article or the game below. I would like to hear what everyone else thought of the game.


Greg Viverito said...

I'd like to hear Bill's comments on the game...

David Shochat said...

hahaha BILL!!!!

Anonymous said...

What can I say guys, I was completely wrong. Siena came out strong and did not look back. They were clearly the better team.

Anonymous said...

Game is long over- but a few reasons why Siena won. Siena’s guards were flat out better. VU had nobody to guard Kenny Hasbrouck. Ronald Moore and Tay Fisher were too quick for VU’s guards - with the exception of the football player who is a heck of a defensive player. With Siena’s quicker guards they were able to pressure the ball and make the pass into Ogilvy extremely difficult. And the single biggest reason why Siena beat Vandy- Edwin Ubiles . It was Vandy’s bad luck to play probably the only player in mid major land capable of guarding Foster. Edwin is bigger and more athletic than Foster. Every shot Foster got off on Ubiles was a difficult shot. When Foster did get a few baskets in a row Ubiles was out of the game. Fran put Ubiles back in and that’s when Stallings gave Foster a rest. And before you guys go off on a mid major player, Ubiles is rated the 20th best junior in the country by NBA draft

In short Siena was a very bad match up for VU.. Siena’s strengths were VU weakness. I was at the game, if Siena /VU tossed it up 10 times on neutral courts Siena wins 9 times out of 10